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opatch 12.1.0.1.7 fails with System Configuration Collection Failed

I was recently upgrading an Exadata 12.1.0.2 DBBP6 to DBBP7 and as usual I went for the latest opatch version which was 12.1.0.1.7 (Apr 2015) as of that time.

After running the opatchauto apply or opatchauto apply -analyze I got the following error:

System Configuration Collection failed: oracle.osysmodel.driver.sdk.productdriver.ProductDriverException: java.lang.NullPointerException
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.RuntimeException: java.io.IOException: Stream closed
        at oracle.opatchauto.gi.GILogger.writeWithoutTimeStamp(GILogger.java:450)
        at oracle.opatchauto.gi.GILogger.printStackTrace(GILogger.java:465)
        at oracle.opatchauto.gi.OPatchauto.main(OPatchauto.java:97)
Caused by: java.io.IOException: Stream closed
        at java.io.BufferedWriter.ensureOpen(BufferedWriter.java:98)
        at java.io.BufferedWriter.write(BufferedWriter.java:203)
        at java.io.Writer.write(Writer.java:140)
        at oracle.opatchauto.gi.GILogger.writeWithoutTimeStamp(GILogger.java:444)
        ... 2 more

opatchauto failed with error code 1.

This was a known problem caused by these bugs which are fixed in 12.1.0.1.8:
Bug 20892488 : OPATCHAUTO ANALYZE FAILING WITH GIPATCHINGHELPER::CREATESYSTEMINSTANCE FAILED
BUG 20857919 – LNX64-121023GIPSU:APPLY GIPSU FAILED WITH SYSTEM CONFIGURATION COLLECTION FAILED

As 12.1.0.1.8 is not yet available the workaround is to use lower version of opatch 12.1.0.1.6 which can be downloaded from this note:
Opatchauto Gives “System Configuration Collection Failed” Message (Doc ID 2001933.1)

You might run into the same problem if you are applying 12.1.0.2.3 PSU.

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